ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville women's basketball team finishes the regular season Saturday afternoon when the Bulldogs travel to Big South foe Winthrop starting at 1 p.m.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on ESPN3. The game can also be heard locally on WPEK Radio (880-AM) with the pre-game show starting at 12:45 p.m.
Asheville (2-26, 0-17 BSC) hopes to play spoiler for Winthrop (19-10, 13-4 BSC) on its Senior Day. The Lady Eagles need a win to clinch second place in the final Big South Conference standings and win their 20th game for the first time in five years.
The teams met at Kimmel Arena back on Jan. 10 with Winthrop rallying in the final five minutes to pull out a 65-59 win.
"Winthrop is currently holding the second place seed in our conference going into the season finale and it is well deserved. They have some of the best perimeter play in the league and their freshmen post players, Shaquila Nunn, and Taylor Calvert have really stepped it up this season to give them an added presence in the paint," stated first-year coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick.
"In our first meeting we played them pretty evenly in all statistical categories except rebounding, where they dominated us on the offensive glass and we gave them too many second opportunities in a six-point loss," added Kirkpatrick. "We have had a solid week of preparation, and Coach Brown has done an excellent job scouting them and putting together a game plan that we have been implementing. The most important variable in the game plan is for us to be the hardest working team on the court tomorrow. That has been our emphasis this week."
Asheville has not played since this past Saturday when the Bulldogs fell at home to Longwood, 67-54. Grace Blaylock led the Blue & White with a season-high 18 points. Winthrop downed Gardner-Webb last night, 62-54.
Senior center Kelli Riles leads the Bulldogs with a 10.9 scoring average and 10.0 rebounding mark. Riles had 20 points and 11 rebounds vs. Winthrop in the first meeting. Gentry Manley is next with a 7.9 scoring mark and is pulling down seven rebounds per game.
Winthrop is led by junior guard Dequesha McClanahan. She's averaging a team-high 19.4 points per game. McClanahan scored 23 points against Asheville earlier this season. Taylor Calvert added 21 points and 17 rebounds in the first contest between the teams.
Winthrop leads the series 34-28 and the Lady Eagles have won the last three meetings between the teams.
Kelli Riles is one of just 37 players in the nation who is averaging a double-double (10.9 pts-10.0 reb.) She has 1,031 career rebounds and 1,026 career points.
The Bulldogs look to end a 19-game losing streak on Saturday. Asheville would also like to snap a 28-game Big South losing streak dating back to last season.
Grace Blaylock set a single-game school record last season at Winthrop by making seven 3-pointers.
Kelli Riles had 10 double-doubles on the year.
Freshman guard Paige Love has scored in double figures in six of the last 10 games.
The Bulldogs are 20-of-23 (.870) from the free throw line in the last two games.